Move Over Law Applies to All Emergency Vehicle

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

Officers say there are more cars on the road during the summer.

“Everybody's out of school everybody’s enjoying their summers. Traffic is going to be heavy on the interstates and the rural areas as well as the city.” Houston County Sheriff Captain Antonio Gonzalez said.

The move over law was put into place to remind drivers to get into the opposite lane when approaching an emergency vehicle.

“Tragically throughout history we have lost a number of officers every year to them being struck by vehicles.” Dothan Police Department Lieutenant Todd David said.

That could be because there's more technology in cars now.

Officers say many people don’t realize this law applies to all emergency vehicles, including fire trucks, ambulances and even tow trucks.

“Low and behold that cell phone goes off, or that beeper goes off on the text messaging. So you reach for it, and when you reach for it all it takes is a turn of your steering wheel to collide with individuals on the side of the road or the vehicle on the side of the road.” Gonzalez said.

This can create a domino effect where one car runs into another, and if there are people anywhere near either car, it can badly hurt or kill them.
Officers want Alabama residents take the idea of the move over law and apply it to all vehicles who may be stuck on the side of a road.

“Anytime you would see someone disabled or broken down on the side of the road or construction crews, it was more or less common courtesy for people to move over and i think now in our fast paced world, we unfortunately had to enact this law.” David said.

If you can't get into the other lane, officers say you must slow down in the lane you are in.
If you are driving on a two lane road and it is impossible for you to move over safely, you must slow down to fifteen miles below the posted speed limit.

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